National Radon Awareness week begins Oct. 17, and although Belknap County ranks lower for risk for the potentially deadly gas than others in the state, experts recommend that everyone has their home checked.
“Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is formed from the decay of radium, which is formed from uranium,” said Owen David, radon program specialist with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. “It erupts in soil in New Hampshire and trace amounts of uranium that breaks down into radon.”
He said that when erupting from the soil, a house can act as a sort of “vacuum,” sucking the radon into the home and exposure to radon over time can have serious health risks, including lung cancer.
“There can be a ten to twenty year latency period,” said David. “And unless you already have cancer, that’s when symptoms show up.”